When we examine the Bible‚ as well as history‚ it become clear that Heaven‚ God’s Kingdom and our souls are eternal. This is imperative to God’s created order since the eternal nature of God’s creative order gives a whole new meaning to how we perceive life and death.
However‚ eternal categories aside‚ it’s just as important for us to understand that things on the earth have certain life cycles. God is the author of life – both spiritual and natural. It is therefore perfectly appropriate for us to examine the nature of the life God gives and learn how to work with it to ours and others benefit.
Life cycles are one such element of God’s created order of things.
Starting with our relationship (covenant) with God‚ though eternal in nature‚ is neither static or linear‚ rather it is life cycle based. This is different from the process of maturing and moving from a “baby Christian” place of spiritual growth to a place of being mature in God.
1. Different life cycles revolve around establishing a specific part of God’s will in us or through us.
When we receive a new assignment from God‚ that assignment will go through a specific life cycle. At the end of it‚ we discover that the assignment is still there‚ it hasn’t changed‚ but one life cycle in our engagement has ended and new life cycles has begun. For example‚ the apostle Paul was called to the Gentiles but his assignment went through different life cycles. One life cycle was defined and very much made possible by the partnership he had with Barnabas. Once those two men parted ways‚ a new life cycle of Paul’s apostolic calling kicked into motion.
2. New life cycles demand new order and adjusted expectations.
Most of us are creatures of habit. We don’t like change. Once we get comfortable with something‚ especially something that works well‚ we don’t like to change it. However‚ to stay current and pliable for the purposes of God’s Kingdom‚ we must be aware of the fact that new life cycles demand new order. Jesus was a just as much the Son of God before he was baptized in water by his cousin John‚ as he was in the days after the dove descended onto him and the Father’s voice was hears from Heaven‚ affirming the divine sonship of the carpenter from Nazareth. Once this happened and Jesus emerged from the water‚ the need for a new order emerged as well. John the Baptizer recognized and attempted to help his disciples to understand it. From this point on‚ John was going to get smaller and Jesus was going to get greater. They were resistant. They didn’t want to adjust their expectations.
3. New life cycle‚ new power
God’s creative power works within the life cycles we move in. Our calling doesn’t really change. Most of us are called and equipped in a certain way and we will function in this way for most of our lives. We can get better stewards of God’s grace‚ but we remain essentially the same in terms of what we’re called to do and how we’ve been equipped. The life cycles do change‚ however‚ and new creative forces are released as we embrace new life cycles of the same calling we have. This is important to know because if you don’t‚ some people get discouraged and they either panic or become disillusioned and discouraged.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
* Have you seen how life cycles operate in your life with God?
* What about in the lives of others?
* How would you benefit from knowing more about this subtle nuance in God’s created order of things?